Mitterrand daughter goes public

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Paris - Mazarine, the illegitimate daughter of France's former president Francois Mitterrand, appeared on the front cover of yesterday's Paris Match after agreeing to a photocall and interview with the magazine, writes Mary Dejevsky.

A snatched photograph of the 21-year-old student standing outside the Sorbonne with her father was published in the same magazine last autumn, provoking the anger of the then president and prompting a lively debate in France about whether the private lives of public figures would in future be subject to British-style media interest.

This was the first time that Mazarine's existence had been officially acknowledged in the French press and it came as a shock to people outside the circles of the Paris elite, where the fact of Mr Mitterrand's mistress and daughter had long been an open secret.

Paris Match yesterday glossed over the question of whether the previous photograph had been published against Mr Mitterrand's will - as he said in subsequent interviews - or with his acquiescence, as some suggested, in order to set the record straight before he left office.

It stressed, however, that the latest set of photographs had been taken with the full co-operation of Mazarine, who appeared with her boyfriend, Ali, the son of the Moroccan ambassador to Sweden.

The pictures, which appear on nine inside pages of the magazine as well as the cover, show Mazarine, her dark hair swept off her face, posing beside the Pont Neuf in Paris and walking along the embankment of the Seine.

One of the pictures, a portrait of Mazarine looking back across her shoulder, is captioned "How she resembles him". She has, says Paris Match, "her father's look - thoughtful and mischievous at the same time".